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Monthly Archives: September 2016

Social Media is Direct Marketing

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Social Media has established itself as an essential marketing channel. What’s changing is the way it’s being used for direct marketing purposes.

Social Media is flexible, new, and very engaging.

While well-established businesses are still struggling to integrate social medial fully into their overall marketing and business strategies, 78% of companies had a dedicated social media team in 2014. In spite of this, only 26% integrate social media fully into their business strategies.

Direct Marketing is proven, established, and measurable.

Direct Marketing has been around since 1872 when Montgomery Ward introduced the mail order catalog, though advocates of Social Media want to think its dead.  Guess what? Direct Marketing is not dead. Direct

Marketing has been working quietly in the background generating income and building loyalty for its users for years. And, lets not forget that Direct Mail has that long retention aspect that keeps orders coming in months

after the first mail piece gets delivered to your mail box. Almost every aspect of Direct Marketing can be tested and measured so you can maximize your ROI.

One way to better integrate social media into overall business strategy is to couple it with your direct marketing efforts. How? There are three fundamental ways to integrate the two.

1.  Build a Better Customer Profile: Social media sites contain a wealth of information that can build a foundation for your direct marketing efforts. What interactions took place between your customers and social media? Which posts, links, ads, etc. did they click on? What topics or brands were liked, followed and/or shared with others? What hashtags, keywords and topics are of interest to your prospects? What hobbies, interests, and other demographic information can be gleaned from their social profiles? Collecting information about your customers can help you devise ways to integrate your offers with the interests of your prospects in mind.

2.  Include Social Proof as Part of Your Offer:  According to #Socialnomics 2014, 93% of shoppers’ buying decisions are influenced by social media because 90% trust peer recommendations. But only 14% trust advertisements. Examples of Social Proof derived from social media sites include:

Customer testimonials: Draw testimonials from social media sites where people are talking about your brand.

Number of shares or downloads: Display the number of times your offer has been shared or downloaded. If an offer has been shared a lot on social media, it shows credibility and trust on the part of those who see these numbers.

Embedded social media posts: Monitor social media to find mentions of your offer, brand, products, etc. that reflect positively on your business. You can then insert these tweets, Facebook posts, etc. as part of your offer.

Embedded Customer ratings and reviews: In addition to social media posts, you can also embed customer ratings and reviews of the product or service offered.

3.  Cross-promote Direct Marketing and Social Media: Use social media as part of your multi-channel direct marketing campaign.

There are many ways to do this, depending on which offline and online channels are used to promote your offer.

Here are some examples:

•   Make social media an integral part of your multi-channel direct marketing campaigns to amplify your efforts. Link email, direct mail, telemarketing, and direct response advertising to social media, and vice versa. Tying them together allows marketers to take advantage of the particular strengths of each.

•  Use social media to create anticipation by telling customers about an upcoming direct marketing offer.

•  Post direct marketing campaigns to social media.Your customers do not consume information in a “one-channel” world. The more you can integrate your messaging across multiple channels, the greater your opportunity for marketing success. That’s why it makes sense to incorporate social media into your direct marketing campaigns.

 

How to entice your customers using Coupons.

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5 methods that will boost your direct marketing efforts: 

87% of shoppers use coupons. Do you?  Think of all of the coupons you receive in the mail, there are always a few that peak your interest. What do you do with the coupon you’re interested in? Hang it on your fridge? Put it in your car? That company that mailed you the coupon will stay relevant in your mind every time you see it.

There are many good reasons to incorporate coupons into your direct marketing strategy.  Prospects like getting discounts for goods for services they need or already use.  Prospects can also be persuaded to try your product based on coupons and discounts

Here are a few direct mail strategies that will help you focus your coupons and discount marketing efforts.

  1. Targeting your prospects

Targeting your prospects as specifically as possible will increase their likelihood of redeeming your offer. Identifying the prospects that fit your customer profile will increase your return on investment.  If you target your offers correctly, you will give potential customers a reason to visit your business and ultimately become loyal to your brand. And you will save money on printing and postage by not mailing to the wrong audience.

  1.  Percent off vs. Dollars off.

One of the most popular ways to offer discounts is percentage based discounts. This can include small incentive percentages like 5% or 10% off.  If you really want to drive sales, offer discounts in the 20% and 25% range. Some of our clients will offer larger percentages like 50%+ to liquidate merchandise that is old or not moving, like furniture and appliances.

Dollars savings off will speak to the customer who relates more to money savings than the percent off. Offers that are based on a dollar value can also be positioned as a credit. We noticed that this makes people feel like they should use the credit or they will be wasting money.

  1. Create a Newsletter.

Creating a newsletter will keep you relevant and connected to your customer. When sending out your newsletter, why not include a coupon? It is a wonderful way to reward your core customer-base. Your customer may not even use the discount, but it will let your customer know that you value their business, and they will be more likely to look for a discount from you in the future. Your customer will not only get a discount, but will also learn more about your business in the process.

  1. Reward your repeat customers.

Offering coupons and discounts for repeat customers is a great way to build a long-term relationship with your customers and keep your profit margins healthy.  Coupons are also attractive to first time buyers. The coupon reduces the financial risk associated with trying a new product or service.

  1. Expiration Date.

The expiration date may be the most important part of your coupon. Neglecting to include one can be very hard on your business. Likewise, not displaying it clear enough can result in a lot of angry customers.

We have found that the average expiration date for print coupons is around 7 weeks, or just under 2 months.  For digital coupons, the deadline may be much shorter: 1 to 2 weeks, or even a couple days.